The agriculture industry employs about 20 percent of the U.S. population, making it a popular occupation, especially here in Alabama. One local high school is vamping up their traditional AG Department.
They want to help some students better prepare for their future in the growing industry.
Goshen High School Senior Robin Sims has been in AG since the eighth grade, and continues to enjoy the course. "I like more hands on work than working in the classroom."
And, thanks to a new Career Academy, Sims and other AG students have the opportunity to have even more hands on experience.
"Some of us are going into the AG field so we'll know how to do more stuff than someone that's never had anything like this," Sims said.
Thursday afternoon, Goshen High School and the Pike County School System officially opened the Pike Agri-Science and Technical Career Academy.
Goshen High Principal Gene Nelson said, "They come into an academy and they actually will get science and social science credits during their junior and senior years, as well as the agri-science credits that they go through the academy."
Nelson says the program is the only one in the state.
Goshen High Teacher Kelly Prichett says this gives students a chance to find a career path they might have otherwise thought wasn't possible.
"If we can teach them not only can you learn in the classroom, but you can take what you learn in the classroom out to the real world, we have a feeling that we can definitely make them a productive citizen to society," Prichett said.
That is something Sims and other students are ready to take on.
There are about 50 seats available for the academy.
Students from surrounding schools can even participate if they would like.